Monday, October 11, 2010

The Book of Sarah

They had this little sub-basement.They called it the root cellar. It was a hidey hole left over from Prohibition, but seeing as this crew were still moonshiners (a venerable profession in these parts), Prohibition was still in force. We slept down there, Sarah and I, I mean. It was perfect and actually quite like the pit in my late, lamented townhouse. Sarah could have kept the hours of our benefactors, but out of loyalty to me, she chose to keep my peculiar schedule. And in the time we spent together I dreamed... And I shared those dreams with her. She saw the warm, golden plains of my homeland, the faces of my loving family and the teeth of the being who made me. We drifted through the palaces of old India and joined in the wild, peasant dances of ancient Muscovy. She lived within my skin as I culled each wicked victim. She felt it all and never once did she flinch. During the night, we sat with the Piney folk and we talked. They asked questions and I answered. One of the senior Pow Wow women, who claimed to have a vampire or two in her own family, asked me why I was so afraid of The Enemy. She wanted to know why I couldn't sublimate through any. human vessel he might sent to confront me. I asked her how she knew about the sublimation. She said that she had a 'life eater' in her family, a Native American, a plains indian , who told stories of flying on the 'smoke wind' and she wanted to know if I thought it was the same as sublimation. I told her I was sure they were one and the same. She asked me how come I was so concerned, seeing as I possessed a tool as potent as that. I explained about the magical serendipity we of the darktime encounter every night. The powers are rarely constant. They change. They fluctuate, like sun spots, or freckles on the face of a child. I told her how that which could save a 'life' could also destroy it. And I think she understood. They asked me about Sarah, how we were bound together and why she stayed with me. Sarah squeezed my hand as I responded and I was glad to have her near me. For as I shared our truth with the forest folk, I was also sharing it with myself. We would always be together. I am not sure what form our union might take, but I know that it is real. From what I can taste of Sarah's soul, she feels the same way too. And those nights 'round the fire were pleasant. Quiet talk. Coppery light. And mellow tunes on old banjos. I think Bob could have remained with them forever, a sylvan 'windago' haunting the thickets and taking the occasional 'meal' or two. But Baylah was impatient to get back. She had things to do in the city. Halloween was approaching and she was a major subscriber to the annual, charity ball. The Enemy? She would face him in her own way. And as I've already stated, she was something of a fatalist. If it was her time, it was her time. But I viewed things quite differently, especially since finding Sarah. and I wanted our time to go on. One night, just as we climbed up out of the root cellar, our guardians told us we had a visitor. It was the Old Woman. She found us. She used her own powers. Strange powers. Old powers. Powers that have little to do with vampirism, but rise from the spiritual birth of humanity. Most mortals fear these abilities and ignore them. But she did not and so she was there. Her clothing was torn to shreads and she seemed to be a bit older. Her usually neat silver-white hair was knotted and matted. And her voice was dry and weak. How did you get here? - I asked. She said that she walked, because it would arouse less notice and it was easier to elude The Enemy that way. She said that she had removed a gemstone or two from a certain safe deposit box and with the help of a dedicated 'familiar', translated the glittering valuables into a new bastion in the sky. We were now the proud owners of a three thousand square foot, pre-War penthouse in the Rittenhouse Square district of Center City (our Manhattan) Philadelphia. and it was imperitive that we return, for the interior designers were coming in a few nights and we had to tell them if the floors were to be Japanese Bamboo or Brazilian Cherry. Ah, the responsibilities of the undead. What would we do about our Enemy? How would we confront him? How would he confront us? And could the contractors get all our granite installed by The Holidays? Bob and Baylah left with us. Their dens were none too safe and with three thousand square feet, there was room in the sky for us all.

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